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Shipping Croatian wine home to USA? Worthwhile?

Is it possible to ship a few bottles of the Plavac Mali red wine home to the USA?
Is it worthwhile, esp. since many of the Croatian wines are not available in the USA?

Is this best to do at the winery or specialty liquor stores that might provide this service?

Cheapest from Zagreb, split, or Dubrovnik?


Posted by
6935 posts

You can do some general searches on Shipping wine to assess your situation, but there are a few pitfalls:

  1. It can be expensive and not all carriers will ship alcohol.
  2. If shipped via cheaper routes, you cannot be certain what conditions the wine was exposed to in transit. Probably not a concern with most wines, would be a concern for a rare or old wine, but in research, you will see this mentioned.
  3. Shipping the wine means it will have to pass through Customs and will be subject to US import laws and a stricter application of your State Laws. Some States prohibit the shipment of wine into the state, so you need to review your state liquor laws. If you do ship and the package is rejected at the border, you will not be notified, the sender will be, the package may not be returned to the sender, so usually you are out what you paid.

It is usually recommended that if you do ship, you know the rules and work with someone over there who is well versed in the process. Otherwise, the best is to get a few bottles and pack them well in a checked bag. For a typical "carry on" sized bag, you can fit about 6 bottles and stay within weight limits. You are still subject to Customs regulations, possibly subject to some duty (though I have never seen them try to collect such a small duty), and State Laws seem not to apply and are usually different if the wine accompanies you as opposed to being shipped.

Posted by
255 posts

It'd be prohibitively expensive to ship. Just bring a styro shipper of whatever size you want and bring it home full. Alternatively, there are inflatable bottle cushions or just wrap it w clothes in your suitcase.

Declare at US customs and ask to pay the duty. Usually the small amount isn't worth the paperwork so they wave u thru. The limit is 2 bottles of SPIRITS but wine is 'any amount for personal use'. I brought back almost 2 cases from France last year.

Lastly, you could write down the name and use wine searcher dot com to locate and have it shipped from a US- based retailer who has it in stock. For Croatian wines, you might find sparse selection however.

Posted by
49 posts

Carrying it home isn't an option, as we are traveling to Italy and Spain after Croatia.
We will just have to find one we like and drink a bit each day.
With four adults, one bottle per day doesn't make us alcoholics, does it?
With dinner! : -)

Posted by
16893 posts

Buy wines as late in the trip as possible, unless you have a car to carry them. A few bottles can be well-packed in your checked luggage. Shipping could cost much more than the wine itself.

Posted by
233 posts

Had to laugh when I read your post. We loved the Plavac red wines as well and bought several to take home with us, however they were so good we couldn't resist drinking them throughout the remainder of our trip. Finished off the last bottle in Gatwick the night prior to our flight home. Oh well we tried.

Posted by
2393 posts

Steve - I need a like button for your post!!!! Sounds like me!

Posted by
49 posts

I think we will follow your example, Steve.
Enjoy like crazy while in country!
I was considering shipping to USA because it doesn't seem reasonable to
suitcase pack Croatian wine to our next stop, in Italy.
I'm pretty sure they have plenty of good wine to drink in Italy!


Posted by
1 posts

First check whether your State allows wine shipping to your home.
Then you might also see if the guys from make a decent shipment offer to you.
I've manged to get some of fine Bire Grk from Croatia from them.


Posted by
6 posts

Too funny Steve! I was looking for the 'like' button also! We would love to bring home some Plavac, but since we carry our luggage on the plane, this isn't an option. If we did buy the wine, we would definitely drink it well before leaving Europe! Can't wait to drink plenty of it this summer on our return trip to Croatia!

Posted by
2451 posts

Just an interloper here from the Italy forum, but you might try